Monday, 17 November 2008

Brando a threatening figure in silk pyjamas


I was fortunate enough to catch A Streetcar Named Desire at the BFI on Sunday... it was best possible way to spend a grey, Sunday afternoon in Autumn. If you have not seen this film I urge you to see it! In the rehearsals for the 1947 stage production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (it is one of the only plays that I took notice of in my A-level English class), director Elia Kazan warned that the play was becoming 'the Marlon Brando show'. With the 1951 film, Kazan's prophecy came true: this is the movie that made Brando a star. His raw, electrifying turn as Stanley Kowalski is still reckoned to be one of the greatest screen performances of all time. When people think about Marlon Brando's style, they often think of this film first and the look recalled is one of muscular physique, tight sweaty t shirt (induced from the combination of New Orleans heat and the heavy physical activity of bowling) and of course Brando's hair which is pure perfection! I can understand why this look is so iconic and it is the most common Brando look throughout the film. However, the style which left the greatest impression on me comes during the films darkest moments and sees Brando sporting stripey silk pjs (as pictured above). How do people feel about silk pyjamas? When I used to think of them my mind was instantly filled with images of Hugh Hefner but now I see them in a different light. I am a both a little attracted to them and at the same time freaked out by the very thought of them. With Christmas coming I might just try and recreate my own Brando look...

For those of you who have (somehow) not seen the film and have no idea what I'm talking about I urge you see it or at the very least watch the trailer below:


Trailers of this era are so very different to the ones today...I prefer the slow pace of yesteryear.

4 comments:

Jaiden_James said...

the 50s will always be a decade i refrence in my style and collections brando in wild 1 amazes me

underneath said...

He could make every garment iconic at that age - I cant figure out what I would love the most.. to wake up with him in school gray tee or silk pajamas!

MR style said...

timeless icon !!

j said...

I have a stripped bathrobe from the 50's that belonged to my grandfather. Unfortunately it is cotton, not silk, but still very nice.

Brando is an all time great actor. I like On the Waterfront best. Anything he wore looked cool. More evidence in support of "the man makes the clothes".

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